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Bird Identification: Cooper's Hawk Or Sharp Shinned...?

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Forum: Bird IdentificationReplies: 14, Views: 131
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dawnieeileen
Troutdale, OR

June 6, 2012
8:25 AM

Post #9154495

in my bird garden looking for lunch!
anyone tell me if this is a Cooper's or Sharp Shinned?

Thumbnail by dawnieeileen   Thumbnail by dawnieeileen
Click an image for an enlarged view.

postmandug

postmandug
Bardstown, KY
(Zone 6a)

June 6, 2012
8:27 AM

Post #9154498

Not a bird expert, but beautiful photos!!
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

July 6, 2012
6:09 AM

Post #9195036

I agree. Fantastic shots. Try posting your photos on the bird identification forum. Here's the link. http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/f/birdid/all/
P_Edens
Missouri City, TX
(Zone 9a)

July 6, 2012
6:33 AM

Post #9195062

Yes, these are excellent photos! Please do post on Bird ID forum. I'm very curious as to the ID. Sharpie and Cooper's are hard for me to tell.

kwanjin

kwanjin
West Valley City, UT
(Zone 7a)

July 16, 2012
9:43 AM

Post #9207187

Beautiful photos. Immature Cooper's.
P_Edens
Missouri City, TX
(Zone 9a)

July 16, 2012
11:06 AM

Post #9207323

kwanjin,

If you get a few moments, can you tell us what characteristics you used for your ID. I looked in Sibley's and also in Wheeler's Raptors of Western North America and I just don't know how to tell the difference.

If I could see a Cooper's juvi next to a Sharpie juvi, I think I could tell, but it is hard to know if the bottom white stripe on the tail is wide or narrow or if the legs are thin or not with nothing to compare to.

Other things I looked at ...
Size of head - same problem - no reference
Size of bird - I guess a small bird (11 to 15") would be likely a Sharpie and probably male and a really large one (greater than 23") would likely be a Cooper's and maybe female. But, my guess would be this bird is around 22" if the fencepost that the feeder hanger is on is about 4 inches wide. So, that could be either one.
Short tail or long tail - I can't tell.
Squared tail or rounded tail - Does look somewhat rounded to me which would indicate Cooper's.
Streaks - coarse, brown for Sharpie and Thin, dark for Cooper's. I can't tell.

Is there anything else that I am missing?

Any help in how to decide would be most appreciated.

I wonder if a mod could move this to the Bird ID forum. I think there are other newbies like me that could benefit from this discussion. I will see if I can figure out how to send in a request to move it.

Regards,
Patti

kwanjin

kwanjin
West Valley City, UT
(Zone 7a)

July 16, 2012
1:36 PM

Post #9207557

Comparing these pictures gave me the ID. This is my Go-To site. On the right of the screen, you can click on the Sharpie pic for camparison.

http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/coopers_hawk/id
P_Edens
Missouri City, TX
(Zone 9a)

July 16, 2012
2:28 PM

Post #9207616

kwanjin,

Thanks so much for that link. It really helps to see them side-by-side like that.

Patti

kwanjin

kwanjin
West Valley City, UT
(Zone 7a)

July 16, 2012
2:33 PM

Post #9207623

You're welcome, and it does.

Now, if I could only spell... :-)

Chillybean

Chillybean
Near Central, IA
(Zone 4a)

July 17, 2012
6:47 AM

Post #9208486

One thing I have heard is that Cooper's are more apt to go into residential areas than the Sharp-shinned. Is this true?

Resin

Resin
Northumberland
United Kingdom
(Zone 9a)

July 17, 2012
6:54 AM

Post #9208500

Ditto to Cooper's; the rounded tail corners and the 'teardrop' streaks on the breast are the best indicators (the teardrop streaks only applies to juveniles)

Resin
pelletory
Marlton, NJ

July 18, 2012
7:54 AM

Post #9210022

Great shots of the Coopers Hawk Dawn!
chris8796
Dunlap, IL

July 29, 2012
3:34 PM

Post #9222789

Chillybean wrote:One thing I have heard is that Cooper's are more apt to go into residential areas than the Sharp-shinned. Is this true?


I've read research this reports this observation. Sharp shinned prefer heavy cover according to the reseach. The authors suggests its do to high mortality from bigger raptors.

Chillybean

Chillybean
Near Central, IA
(Zone 4a)

July 30, 2012
4:33 PM

Post #9224033

Thank you for confirming that, chris. I just wanted to make sure I remembered that correctly.

Resin

Resin
Northumberland
United Kingdom
(Zone 9a)

July 31, 2012
1:11 PM

Post #9225035

Also true based on the pics that get posted here and on the birdwatching forum, something like 80-90% are Cooper's.

No doubt a Sharp-shin is a tasty snack for a Cooper's.

Resin

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